Donegal to Dublin is one of two domestic routes in Ireland operated by Aer Lingus Regional. The other is between Dublin and Kerry and both routes are operated as a Public Service Obligation meaning they are subsidised by the Irish Government.
Aer Lingus Regional flights are operated by Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann). These feature the full Aer Lingus colours, cabin service and crew uniforms.
Donegal Check In
Online check in is not available from Donegal as the airport is not equipped to scan boarding passes. As a small regional airport, this is not too surprising.
Check in opens around 2 hours before departure and I suggest getting there even closer to departure than that. When I checked in, I was asked if I would like to move to the exit row and I accepted.
EI3403 – Donegal to Dublin (CFN-DUB)
1 August 2017
ATR 42-300 – EI-CBK – St. Fintan
Seat: Economy Class 2A
Departure: 14:40 Arrival: 15:35
People are advised to go through security screening around 30 minutes before departure. This is approximately 10 minutes before the arrival of the inbound flight. Security is quick and easy and then you wait in the next room until boarding is called.
Aer Lingus Regional Exit Row
Passengers with children and those requiring extra assistance are boarded first. Next, those in rows 1 through to 7 are invited to board followed by everyone else. Boarding passes are checked again at the aircraft door.
Seats in the cabin are navy blue which look fine against the off white interior trim. The overhead lockers are fairly small but I never have a problem fitting my bag in. The airline will check your bag free if it does not fit.
The entry door of the ATR 42 is at the rear which means the exit row is up front. On the right hand side at the front are some rear facing seats making up row one. These are unavailable to select on the seat map before the flight.
It is good to see a completely sold out flight from such a small airport. Before take-off, the crew member visits the exit row passengers and provides a short briefing on the operation of the exit.
Safety On Board
As usual, safety cards are in the seat pocket in front of you. Here is the one for Aer Lingus Regional operated by Stobart Air which is the same for both the ATR 42 and ATR 72.
Before take off there is the safety demonstration. On this aircraft there is a recorded voice demonstration that is played and the crew member does the usual dance showing you all the various things. It is always quite professionally done.
Take Off From Donegal
The landing approach to Donegal is the second most scenic in the world. To give you a flavour of this, you can have a look at the four minute video of the take off below.
You can see the coast and area around the airport are quite beautiful. It is a lovely part of the world and is definitely a place worth visiting in my book!
On Board Menu
Aer Lingus feature a Bia Menu on board their flights, with Bia being the Irish word for food. On Aer Lingus Regional, the menu is quite a bit smaller which matches the smaller aircraft and sectors. On this flight I treated myself to a bottle of water as I was quite thirsty.
They were not accepting credit card, so I paid with cash. The crew member on my flight was so bubbly and really great! She told me her flight pattern for the day was DUB-CFN-DUB-IOM-DUB-CFN then overnight and back. A busy day of flying for her!
For The Aviation Geeks
Right in front of seat 2B attached to the bulkhead is the Emergency Equipment Chart which is specific to EI-CBK which is the aircraft it is on. I think it is something different for you to see.
It is actually quite interesting. For example, it is nice to know where to find the First Aid Kit. Once you land in Dublin a bus takes you to Terminal 2 arrivals.
Aer Lingus Regional operated by Stobart Air is a perfectly fine way to get to local destinations. The airline operates within Ireland and to smaller cities in the UK. I find the overhead lockers are very small but this is standard on this aircraft type.
Friendly people at Donegal Airport transition seamlessly to the lovely crew member on board the aircraft and I have no complaints. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Jonathan Palombo via Wikimedia Commons.